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Liquid natural gas investment should rebound despite low world prices, Conference Board predicts

The Conference Board of Canada says there's still room for optimism for Canada's liquefied natural gas export industry, despite global LNG prices that are expected to remain weak for at least the next three years.

Canada's natural gas industry forecast to lose money this year but long-term global demand expected to grow

A liquefied natural gas tanker arrives east of Tokyo. (STR/AFP/Getty)

The Conference Board of Canada says there's still room for optimism for Canada's liquefied natural gas export industry, despite global LNG prices that are expected to remain weak for at least the next three years.

Economist Carlos Murilloo says in a report that investments in new LNG facilities around the world are expected to fall off in the next few years after about $200 billion US was spent over the past decade.

Investments are expected to fall to $4 billion US per year by 2020 but global demand will continue to grow, according to a Conference Board report, sparking a new round of spending on LNG facilities.

That's good news for Canadian natural gas producers who have yet to see anyone commit to building an LNG export terminal in Canada despite some 20 proposals.

Last month, Ottawa conditionally approved the $36-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project but Petronas, the Malaysian state-owned oil firm proposing the project, says it must review the conditions before going ahead.

The Conference Board says Canada's natural gas industry is expected to post pre-tax losses of more than $1.6 billion this year after racking up losses of $1.7 billion in 2015, due to low natural gas prices throughout North America.

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